Employee appreciation is overly beneficial in ensuring that your workers remain loyal, improve performance, and increase job satisfaction within your organization.
This not only benefits your business financially by boosting engagements and reducing absence but also ensures that your employees live a happy life. Appreciating your employees is a good way of building a positive company culture that people are happy to work while improving turnover.
However, top-tier managers often find it difficult to appreciate employees daily, especially with all decision making powers. Well, below are some tips to make your employees appreciated.
1. Be Genuine with Everyday Conversations
Most employees and leaders are stuck with the idea that everyone in the workplace is replaceable. While this is partly true, the feelings of being valued arise once employees become aware of their unique importance in the company. To inform employees of their special importance, managers should engage in daily conversations with employees when necessary.
Managers should find an appropriate approach to engage employees in daily conversations without breaking the manager-employee relationship. For instance, when assigning your employee a new task, provide details beyond the basic instructions. Besides providing the contact details and job description, reiterate why you prefer the employee for tasks. You can use reassuring statements, such as “You did an exemplary job on last week’s website design. The current client is quite strict and detail-oriented, but you can handle it.”
You can as well assign employees challenging tasks while clearly acknowledging that you are doing so with reasons. For example, if one of your employees is good with accounting, assign them a monthly accounting presentation for big accounts. Once employees feel their important contribution to the company, they feel irreplaceable and loyal.
It is important that you converse with employees normally and not as junior employees. You should demonstrate that you care about the employees as individuals before expecting them to perform. Ask them about their families, spouses, hobbies, and weekend activities to build trust in your relationships. This makes it easy to share experiences in and outside the office and work effectively.
2. Show Gratitude
Employees are human and often demand appreciation, especially by their leaders, for their work. Since managers have a broad view of the company goals and evaluate individual employee performance, they can easily identify if employees perform well. Some tips for showing gratitude include;
Clearly praise the good work your employee did, stating their unique strengths and how it benefits the company. Make the complements more about the employees’ amazing qualities and less about how it helped the company.
Show gratitude frequently provided it is authentic and specific. While there are multiple ways of showing gratitude, using a handwritten note is better. Spending your time crafting the note means a lot to your employee.
Employee recognition and showing gratitude often strengthen employee engagement, employee morale, and self-confidence. A study by Harvard Business Review done on fundraisers showed that those who received personal thanks from managers improved their outreach by 50%. However, with many responsibilities, managers can easily get caught with work, failing to pay attention to the team. Therefore, try all you can to spend some time with your employees.
3. Provide Opportunities for Learning and Professional Development
The best managers should find ways of augmenting the growth of their employees through various professional development options. This could be joining professional associations, applying for certifications, attending industry conferences, and more. With constricted resources, managers should choose and invest in employees who surpass company expectations.
Fortunately, there are learning and professional growth opportunities that suit different companies. Among the options include:
Online Classes and Courses
Most colleges and universities offer online courses specifically targeting postgraduates. They are an opportunity to advance while working full-time. Udemy, Skillshare, and other like-minded platforms offer video-based online classes to those looking to advance their training. Compared to university-based learning, they are affordable and very flexible.
Short Courses and Videos
Workshops and short courses are a good way of exposing your employees to new topics. Most short classes are free and take a few days, thus won’t commit much of your employees’ time. Managers can provide free videos to employees on various topics. They are a great way of learning new things and improving their knowledge. Similarly, just like short classes and workshops, weekend-long conferences and immersive courses pack a lot of knowledge to your employee in a short period. Besides providing room for professional growth, they provide an opportunity to connect and network with others in the same field.
This is better suited to employees who perform well in academics. Enrolling such employees in formal in-personal colleges for professional growth is a good option. This could be continuous/advanced education programs in nearby colleges and universities.
An internal way of promoting professional growth is adopting mentorship as part of company culture. In most organizations, new employees can adapt and benefit greatly when paired with old employees. As such, you can establish a formal or casual mentorship system. This helps onboard newbies into the company with ease.
4. Celebrate with Them
Most employees often look forward to company parties and celebrations. However, this shouldn’t be about the company alone. You should recognize employee birthdays, work anniversaries, achievements and other celebrations. You can organize a pizza party upon closure of a good sale with your team, an ice-cream break for a hot-afternoon surprise treat, or a monthly coffee break that has no work-related agenda. Happy hour is also a common practice for many companies.
The best way to celebrate with your employees is by creating a company tradition using various employee appreciation day ideas. For instance, you can start a New Year’s Eve party to celebrate the ending year’s accomplishments. Regardless of the occasion, you should find ways of providing employee appreciation through celebrations. This could be through coworkers’ contests or other creative ways. Maybe even an employee appreciation week!
You should also provide gifts and awards alongside these parties. Employees are influenced to remain in their current positions if they receive benefits or bonus packages. However, note that these awards and benefits packages vary based on the nature of your employees. Therefore, rewards that may suit one employee may not suit another colleague. Regardless of your choice, understanding your employees well makes it easy to tailor their rewards.
5. Engage them in Company Goals
Employees feel motivated to work if they are aware of their important role in achieving the company goals. However, surprisingly, only half of the employees report that they feel aligned with the organization’s goals. Therefore, managers should clearly communicate to their employees the company goals and their important input towards achieving these goals.
This applies to both short-term and long-term goals. With such understanding, your employees understand how their efforts make a difference and thus feel motivated to work. Goal alignment significantly strengthens leadership and creates a flexible work environment, as your team members will be working towards achieving the shared objectives.
You should try any of the employee appreciation day ideas mentioned above in your company. Also, consider other ways, such as modernizing the workspace, relaxing working hours, evaluating your leadership styles, and being transparent to motivate your workforce. Finally, note that you should also consider asking for employee suggestions on how they want to be recognized and things that make them feel appreciated. While some may ask for small things, such as chocolates, a prize, simple peer recognition, or cookies, honor their requests and make it part of your culture.